The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) has made a further £5m available to businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber and the Tees Valley.

Providers Finance for Enterprise and Business Enterprise Fund – managers of the now £15m NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance Fund – will continue to support start-ups, start-ups and more established companies looking to develop.

Microfinance loans range from £25,000 to £100,000 and can be used to fill working capital gaps, fund expansion projects and buy new equipment, rent premises and hire staff.

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Commercial lighting design specialist RKB Electrical is one of 210 companies that suppliers have already supported.

The Skipton-based company has benefited from a loan of £25,000 from NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance, backed by RLS, and has also received a further £80,000 directly from BEF to expand its product offering.

Chris Rickerby, Operations Manager at RKB Electrical, said: “Businesses across the UK are looking to make their offices healthier to accommodate their employees in a central hub where possible.

“We were overwhelmed with questions about how lighting can help make offices brighter, healthier and more sustainable as part of commercial redevelopments.

“We are using the funding to provide a wider range of bespoke lighting products that can cater for this and are considering developing our own products.

“The process with Mark Iley at BEF was very easy and the funding, provided in partnership with the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, means we are able to meet demand, enabling businesses across the UK to reopen in confidence, while developing our own operation.

Steve Waud, CEO of BEF, said: “Adaptation is a major part of recovery and growth and RKB – and its customers – are an example of this. We have been delighted to support them in their growth and look forward to funding many more small businesses in Yorkshire, the Humber and the Tees Valley.

Andrew Austwick, Managing Director of FFE, said: “This additional investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will help more businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber and Tees Valley access the vital funds needed to realize their potential.

“When businesses thrive, society as a whole benefits. The NPIF plays a vital role in helping to create and retain skilled jobs within the regional economy, as well as helping businesses access the funds necessary to invest, innovate and adapt to a difficult economic climate.

Grant Peggie, Director of the British Business Bank, said: “Providing microfinance loans of £25,000 to £100,000 has been a big part of the success of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

“They have provided vital capital to small businesses to support their growth, especially as they emerge from the pandemic.

“We congratulate Finance For Enterprise and Business Enterprise Fund for securing this additional funding, and we look forward to seeing its impact as it supports more growing small businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber, and the Valley of the River. Tees.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) project is financially supported by the European Union through funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Program 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.